ZELLA COMPTON: A 21st century curse – how does a family manage the TV recorder?

No crib for a... sausage roll
No crib for a... sausage roll
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You know those days when you look through the seventy-seven million channels on your telly and you still can’t find anything to watch? Yes, you do.

So then you look in your planner, where the family has recorded a whole swathe of stuff.

Planner is the name Sky gives it, but I am not sure how much planning goes into the one in our house because quite frankly it looks like a thousand pieces of a jigsaw puzzle shoved into a dark bag, with one episode of something, a clash of six of something else, and so on. Nothing ever fits together. More of a pick’n’mix.

I despair of ever see space in the planner. It’s at a premium with so many of us allowed to use the remote.

We sit with three per cent free, never more, never less, even when I delete bizarre series which have squatted for months and no one has watched a single episode.

At one time we had Seinfeld which we were working our way through as a family, though some (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) were streaking ahead. But once that was gone, we were left with disparate odd bits about superheroes (which are not super, or even heroic), some stuff about working on boats and quite a few shows about how specific albums were made, all taking up 97 per cent of the memory.

Plus, and here’s the curiosity, there are quite a few films which no one will own up to taping. I’m using the word ‘taping’ loosely here. You know it, I know it, if only my teenagers weren’t so judgmental about the word. Recording is taping. In my book, the two are interchangeable.

One of these films is the original Flight of the Phoenix, which everyone denied record-taping or denied wanting to watch. But given that I couldn’t bare saying Yes to another Dress, dining with anyone else, or watching an episode of Friends for the 32nd time, I pressed play. And what a gem it was. It’s not often that I watch an original and find it compelling, even though I know the story. Even with the dodgy prosthetics, and the drawl of James Stewart which had us in giggling fits as no one could understand a word, the film was a marvel.

The special effects were extremely special – spot the model aircraft (and that’s not even a pun) and the language was rather choice at times reflecting or pervading the racist attitudes of the year in which it was made, but overall it’s fab. That’s one bit of pick’n’mix I’ll delete knowing it was worth the space.


Seemingly the world’s first human head transplant has taken place in China, on to a corpse.

There must surely be a benefit somewhere, but perhaps I have read too many dystopian novels to imagine anything but trouble ahead, whether the surgery can be performed successfully on a live subject or not.

And I can’t get my head (ha – literally) around whether the body would seek a new head, a head would seek a new body, or where there would be a straight swap.

The whole thing feels freaky and macabre.

The scientist at the centre of it all says something like Mother Nature needs to be tamed, as she’s committed mass genocide for millennia.

I can’t help thinking of every mad scientist in fiction ever.


There has been reported outrage about a well-known high street greasery/bakery using a sausage roll in a crib to advertise its Christmas wares.

Who are these outraged people? I am fed up with the media stating stuff is ‘viral’ and then quoting six tweets of people moaning.

Does this class as outrage? And are the outraged even Christians who attend church and who practice Christian beliefs (aren’t those about kindness and understanding – even to those who use sausage rolls in imagery)? I suspect not.

I think these are moral mud-stirrers looking to cause unrest.

Our world is being taken over by a few obtuse opinions which are being peddled as outrage.

Take care one and all to define what you class as outrage and then make sure that’s what you’re really reading.